tv BBC World News PBS May 18, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> sanctions on serbia. the u.s. directly targets president assad for the first time. -- sanctions on syria. new bail hearings for -- queen elizabeth and talks about healing. 80,000 miles in 70 days, the root of the olympic torch has been released. we found out why this man chose to have his arm cut off and replaced with a bionic one.
the united states has imposed its first ever measures against the syrian president of the suppression of anti-government protests. . now, washington has avoided linking him directly to the crackdown. this brings sanctions against president assad and six syrian officials. it would make it illegal for american citizens to do any business with them. the sanctions are largely symbolic as it is unlikely that they have any assets in the u.s. but they are designed to send a clear message to the regime in damascus. our correspondent is in washington and i asked him about the message the u.s. is sending with these sanctions. >> these are personal sanctions against president assad and the six syrian officials. the fact they are personal is
quite unusual. other world leaders like the president of iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad, there are not personal sanctions against him. that gives you an indication of how personal they are in symbolism. the u.s. has set to president assad without you need to really reform. we want the violence to stop. this is the first time the obama administration has linked the violent protests directly to the government of president assad. it is the ultimatum to really reform. it is not known if he is calling for them to resign. -- if the administration is calling for him to resign. >> they are really laying down a marker. >> yes, this is one of several of events this week linked to u.s. policy in the middle east. the most important is here in washington when president obama makes that speech about the
middle east. what he will say is that he will put forward clear ideas, new ideas. it all comes in the wake of the arabs spring, the uprising across the middle east. it is president obama try to take the emphasis from those changes and directing that to the peace process between israel and the palestinians. the situation is that much more complicated now because of the unity agreement between hamas and fatah. hamas does not recognize the state of israel. it makes a peace agreement that much more difficult for the u.s. potentially to broker. >> the united nations has called on opposing sides in the conflict in libya to agree on a temporary cease-fire to allow food and medical supplies to reach civilians. around misrata, sporadic fighting continues to hamper efforts to distribute relief.
>> in a besieged city, growing signs of order and confidence. polite lines for bread. a day the retained for men like this man. -- a day the retained for a man like this man. he has emerged as a key rebel commander in the defense of misrata. sitting -- fitting perhaps for a former center back on the national football squad. until revolution, coach of the local fame. -- the local team. today, he's taking his children to see the ruins of their home. for weeks, colonel gaddafi's forces shelled the area. they have been pushed back. the city is safe for now. >> football requires courage, but fighting has taught me so much courage about myself.
maybe this will help me as a coach in the future. >> hours later, some of his colleagues are carried back from the new front lines some 50 kilometers outside of misrata. they were ambushed. gaddafi's forces remain a real threat here. it might seem that it here and to some extent it still is but over the past few weeks the city has adapted and put into place structures to make a real difference. for instance, meals on wheels delivered twice daily across the city to keep institutions include in the hospital. among the staff here, a competent figure in misrata's rebel administration. >> when we can get misrata moving again, this would be a
different time. >> do you think the worst is over? >> i think and i hope. >> one sign of progress, and electricity back on in this neighborhood. >> i am happy to get back to work in my workshop. >> his family cannot fully relax yet. he might be needed back at the front. >> i will not give up and i will finish this with gaddafi. i will kill him and catch him and judge him and his family. >> so, the city adapts and waits for the next breakthrough. >> defense lawyers for the imf chief dominique strauss-kahn who was charged in a rape case would
like him to be released on bail and electronically tagged. a hearing is set to take place on thursday. we got an update on the police investigation. >> well, there is going to be what is called a grand jury hearing and this is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence for him to be continued to be contained. they will of the evidence and then they will take a vote and then on the basis of that, the case either continues or it does not. the expectation is that it will continue. by friday, that grand jury hearing should have been held. tomorrow, he has a bail hearing. he was denied bail on monday but his lawyers are going back and hope that he will be granted bail. >> the authorities also spoke about the credibility of the witness, the made.
>> her lawyer has been talking to the press. she came to the u.s. about seven years ago and a situation that he described as seeking asylum. she was coming from troubled circumstances. he described her as something who was trying to build a new life for herself and for her daughter. she did not know who dominique strauss-kahn was. she spoke to the police. >> a senior chinese army general has said that china has no intention of matching u.s. military power. during a visit to washington, he said that china welcomes the role of the u.s. in maintaining peace and stability in the asia- pacific. he warned that any u.s. arms sales to taiwan could jeopardize relations. china has said that the three
gorges dam has created major problems. it cost nearly $40 billion and forced more than a billion people -- more than a million people to relocate. there has been an almost sixfold rise in the deforestation of the amazon rain forest in brazil. between march and april last year, about 100 square kilometers of vegetation were taken. queen elizabeth has offered her sympathy to those of suffered in the relationship between britain and the irish republic. she said that they were now france. she said it is impossible to ignore history. our correspondent was listening to speech. >> to dublin castle, which had won the seat of british rule in ireland.
-- which had once been the seat of british rule in ireland. they discussed the herd and suspicion of centuries. this was a speech eagerly anticipated, an endorsement of understanding and peace. outside, behind lines of irish police, several hundred demonstrators threw firecrackers. the demonstration was a distraction and no more. it is a speech of the british head of state that millions wanted to hear and when it came, it was heartfelt. >> [speaking gaelic] >> the prime minister discussed the regrettable part date and loss in the shared history. >> we can never forget those who died or had been injured or their families.
to all those of suffered as a consequence of our troubled past, i extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. without the benefit of the historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all. >> it had been an unusually direct and personal. then to the work of the peace process in northern ireland. >> i applaud the work of all of those involved in the peace process and of all of those who support and nurture peace. the lessons from the peace process are clear, whatever life rose at best, our individual responses will be strong for it to work together to share the load. >> she talked about the golden thread that ties the family friendship between the two
islands. friendship which this visit was undoubtedly promoting, went along -- would be on the standing ovation she received. earlier, she had been to the sporting stadium where in 1920, british forces opened fire on a crowd watching a football match. 14 and said people were killed. -- innocent people were killed. this visit is a balancing act. after the honoring of the early republican heroes who fought against britain, today the queen paid tribute to the 50,000 irishman who lost their lives fighting with britain during the first world war. irish soldiers fought in france but when they went home, they were ostracized. the sacrifice of those who gave their lives was largely forgotten.
in their remembers today, the queen went to the irish war memorial garden, the setting for a joint irish and british ceremony honoring all those who gave their lives in the first world war and those who step forward in the second world war when the irish free states remained neutral. again, it was a moment intended to heal. this is addressing some of the wounds from the past. >> 8,000 miles into 70 days. this is the root of the all of the torch which has been revealed. -- of the olympic torch which has been revealed. a suicide car bomb and that police cadets left 13 dead in
the eastern city of to lullaby in afghanistan. then there was another bombing in the north of the country. >> running through the streets, they shouted "death to america." angry locals came to protest what they see as the killing of innocent men and women and children. the demonstrators were adamant of the dead not being taliban. this man said, four helicopters came to our village. first they besieged their homes, then they killed our family. we're not taliban, we are not al qaeda. i don't know why they killed our family. little things anchor the afghans more than the killing of their people by foreign soldiers even
of the taliban is to blame for the most death. the crowd went on a rampage. later, shots would be fired. 12 people were killed. it took hours for a door is to regain control of the city. -- for authorities to gain control of the city. nato says they're doing their best to limit civilian deaths. young afghans have been killed by foreign troops. those were accidental deaths but made no apologies have done little to ease the anger. -- but nato apologies have done little to ease the anger. >> you can get these stories and more on our website. bbc.com. you can get analysis and full video content. the united states has announced sanctions on the syrian
president over human-rights abuses. dominique strauss-kahn is back in court for another bail hearing. his lawyers would like $1 million cash bail and for him to wear and an electronic tag. more now on our top story, the imposition of sanctions on syrian president assad and six other aids of his. i asked about american policy towards president assad. >> the question is almost an internal issue because president obama has invested a lot of political capital on engagement rather than isolation. president assad was at the center of that. you had the flow of senators, congressmen, and all of that to
damascus in the belief that president assad was a reformer. it is very difficult to backtrack on this because it was so central to his approach to the whole middle eastern issue. in fact, tomorrow's speech is going to have to change a lot of these original ideas because he was also weak on democratization. he had cut a lot of the budget and in his cairo speech in 2009, he had also backtracked on u.s. policy toward democratization. now, while it seems that what is called the arab spring has come at the wrong time for him. >> the u.s. has been fairly firm and some of the words but it has used. the state department says that he must have a political transition or must leave. is it more important to damascus
what regional leaders say rather than with the united states says anyway? >> no, because the u.s. and the international community's position is important because a weak position gives the impression to bashar al-assad that he is backed by the international community. they would like him to stay so they will look the other way if he suppresses the opposition. he interprets this as a carte blanch. this is like giving him a license to kill if you are hesitant on that. he has been sending all of these signals to increase the tension and frighten the international community. he sent tanks into deraa to give
them the impression that this is like libya. he is fear mongering. the bottom line is that there is no going back. he has crossed the line. >> at least 8 people have died in a shooting in mexico. the authorities say that the government opened fire on a group of people on tuesday. police are still trying to find a motive for the killings. the highest court in guatemala have approved the divorce of the president and his wife the decision allows her to stand for election to be his successor. there is a constitutional ban on close president -- close
relatives of the president running for office. organizers have revealed details on the olympic torch going around the u.k.. it will light the cauldron signaling the start of the 2012 games. >> this is where it all began, lands' end, the first stop on a 70-day tour which organizers say will embrace all parts of the vatican them. the route has taken over a year to finalized and will cover a thousand miles stopping off in all of the major cities and towns but it will also go to some of the more remote parts of the nation with london 2012 promising that 95% of the country will at some point only be an hour away from the torch. a world champion gymnast was in the today to try to ignite a bit of local enthusiasm for the torch relay.
>> a lot of people have said, this is london, london people, or as having it come to liverpool, manchester, the north west in general, it allows them to be inspired by the olympics and feel they are part of it. >> the hard work of preparing for next summer's games is well underway. these gymnasts are dreaming of getting old. organizers would like a torch relay to be about the unsung heroes. >> you put that extra effort in and put something really into our country and our sport. >> london 2012 is bring in the olympic torch to cities like this one to testify the billions of pounds that by the whole country. with three-quarters of the places on the relay allocated to
sponsors, have organizers put commercial imperatives ahead of olympic ideals? that is one of difficult questions. >> they're helping us to deliver the games. over a billion and a half pounds a week come to the table with as an organizing committee. note not taxation, we're national lottery. the sponsors are very important. >> this is how it ends with unforgettable olympic moments like this one in atlanta in 1996. wherever the porch goes, the bigger question is, who will london shoes for the ultimate of the corner -- choose for the ultimate olympic honor? >> a serbian man who lives in austria has chosen to have a badly damaged hand amputated so it can be replaced fowith a plan
on a one-- with a bionic one. >> final tests before a live changing operation. this man lost his arm in a motorcycle accident. he is deeply frustrated that he cannot use his hand for even the simplest task. he feels like it is not even there, like it is dead. he has decided to have his hand cut off and replaced with a buy on a limb -- with a bionic limb. >> i have lived 10 years with his hand. it cannot be better. the only way is to cut the start and i will get a new arm. >> he is only the second patient in the world to choose to swap his hand for a on a corn. last year, a 21-year-old was the
last. he lost the use of his head after he was -- of his hand after he was electrocuted at work. the surgery is being offered by a viennese surgeon. he has faced opposition by colleagues but he firmly believes this is the best remaining option. >> he is 26 years old. he would like to go on with his life. to biologically reconstruct a hand to him would be a never- ending story. in the end, he would still have a nonfunctioning hand. i have no problem cutting off his hand. >> there are no second thoughts on the morning of the operation. his mood is one of calm results. there is even some joking. final preparations are under way for the surgery. the and is that it will soon be
administered. for the surgeon and the patient, this is not about losing a hand. this is about getting one. the surgery goes smoothly although it will be several weeks before he will be able to try his hand. following the operation, he is drowsy. there are no regrets. >> i still good. that it is over. >> he would not have parted with his own natural hand were it not for advances in bionics. the good news for him is that further progress could soon be at hand. >> a reminder of our main news, the u.s. has filed sanctions on the syrian president over human rights abuses. you can find plenty more details on the bbc news website. there, you can find the latest on the investigation involving
the imf chief, dominique strauss-kahn. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.